There is a mighty Empire that rises out of the ashes of a nearly destroyed world and rules the known world with order. Far away, the Burrows, a secret hidden culture, is blossoming. The Burrows embrace a life far different from the authority of the powerful Empire, and they fear that discovery will end their society, and so they devise a plan. Central to their strategy is their Master Storyteller, the frail and aging Sojourner, a woman of uncommon gifts. Can she convince the harsh Emperor Kalig to consider peace before the Burrows is conquered and their amazing technologies captured?